BR airport traffic down in 2013

The number of passengers who passed through Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport dropped by 1.7 percent in 2013.

The passenger count went from 826,488 in 2012 to 812,232 in 2013, said Jim Caldwell, an airport spokesman. Caldwell said he thinks the slight drop was caused by a difficult comparison. Baton Rouge hosted the U.S. Bowling Congress’ 2012 Open Championship Tournament, an event that was held over five months and attracted 70,200 bowlers and their guests from across the U.S.

This was the third year in a row the passenger count at Baton Rouge Metro topped 800,000.

Delta had a 39.9 percent share of the market at Baton Rouge Metro, while United was second at 26.2 percent, American Airlines was third at 25.4 percent and US Airways was fourth with 8.5 percent. American and US Airways recently merged; Caldwell said the combined company is on track to be the second-largest carrier in Baton Rouge.

For 2014, Caldwell said Baton Rouge Metro is expected to follow industry trends and have a flat year.

“Seating capacity isn’t growing,” he said. “Airlines are buying new aircraft, but they’re replacing aging aircraft …. Without additional capacity, we should see modest growth, unless a new carrier comes in the market or the airlines add larger aircraft.”